BANGOR, Maine — A daylong discussion focusing on rural Maine’s economy and its future is being held Feb. 10, featuring more than 50 presenters and numerous workshops.
The event, Rural Maine’s Next Economy, begins at 8 a.m. and runs through 4:30 p.m. at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. With a host of sponsors and partners, the day is being organized by Envision Maine, a nonprofit membership organization that works to bring together and support stakeholders in Maine’s rural economy.
The topics of the event’s 10 workshops center around a range of industries and sectors that impact rural economies including broadband, education, energy, farming, forestry and tourism, as well as why Maine needs to attract more people from out of state.
The day will kick off with messages from Maine’s U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King, followed by the event’s keynote address, “Building Unity to Unlock Maine’s Rural Potential,” presented by Paul Costello, executive director of the Vermont Council of Rural Development.
The day’s workshop discussions begin at 10:30 a.m. on the topics of what it will take to become New England’s breadbasket, keys to building a year-round tourism industry and how Maine can become an energy exporter. Afternoon workshops are broken into two rounds, the first from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on the topics of funding and growing rural businesses, challenges and opportunities for the forestry industry, and how to connect rural Maine to the rest of the world. The final three workshops run from 3:15 to 4:30 p.m., on the topics of reshaping local education, building partnerships on the regional level and energy efficiency.
Information about registration for Rural Maine’s Next Economy can be found on Envision Maine’s website.